How to fix: Image not retrieved (crawl rate too slow) or (crawl pending)

Ensure that Google can access and crawl your images and wait for the product image to be crawled (up to 3 days)

One or more of your products is disapproved and images are not displaying in Shopping ads or free listings. This could be due to a number of reasons, including crawling.

It’s possible that the crawl rate for your images is too slow. To address this, you can increase the crawl rate in Google Search Console or move your images to a faster server. It’s also possible that the images you submitted for these products are pending a crawl. It can take up to 3 days for a product image to be crawled and retrieved.

There could also be other reasons why your images are not being displayed. Use this guide to understand the reasons and resolve the issue.

Before you begin

Determine which issue applies to your account:

The items were recently submitted

  • If your items were recently submitted, there may be a delay before the server fetches and crawls the images. Your items will not serve in Shopping ads or free listings until your images have been crawled.
  • If you are experiencing a low crawl speed, ensure that your servers are not returning 500 or similar errors. You can also adjust the crawl rate in Google Search Console.
  • If you need to update large numbers of images at a time, submit a portion of your new images, such as 10%, each day so that Google can continuously crawl the new URLs.

Images are not live yet

  • Make sure that the image URLs you submit in your data feed are live in your serving system and available for Google to crawl.

Images were recently changed or updated

  • A new image can take up to 6 weeks to appear in your ad or listing if the image URL remains unchanged.
  • To allow the systems to identify the change and crawl the new image quickly (typically within 3 days), use a new image URL and update it in your product data whenever you change an image.

Images are in an unsupported format

  • Make sure your images are in one of the supported formats (GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, BMP, or TIF) and include the appropriate extensions for their file names.
  • To successfully process an image, its associated URL must link to an image file rather than to a script. Learn more about image requirements

Your image URLs aren't working correctly

  • If your image URLs don't work, an image won't be displayed for your product in our listings.
  • Check that all your image URLs are working correctly.

You've included spaces within your image URLs

  • Make sure that there are no spaces within your image URLs. Each space should be replaced with the characters "%20" (without quotes). Otherwise, the server will not be able to crawl your image and it will not appear in results.
  • For example,

A robots.txt file on your server is blocking access

  • A robots.txt file on your server prevents Google from crawling the images on your site. For the server to access these images, modify your robots.txt file to allow both user-agents "Googlebot" and "Googlebot-Image" to crawl your site. Learn more about the robots.txt
  • Enable Google to crawl your site by adding the following lines to your robots.txt file:

User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow:

User-agent: Googlebot-Image
Disallow:

Images redirect

  • An image link should link directly to the URL of that image. If the image link in your data feed redirects to another URL, the server won't be able to grab a copy of your image to use when showing your product.
  • The image URLs that redirect through ASP, PHP, or ColdFusion scripts will also fail to be fetched.

Images have HTTP headers

  • If the header information for an image is different from the expected, the image processor will not be able to cache a copy of your image. Typically, headers are only an issue for images that are dynamically generated.
  • Two header fields that must be passed are content-type and content-length:
    • Content-type describes the file type you're sending. Two common values for images are "image/gif" and "image/jpeg".
    • Content-length gives information about the file size for an image.
  • If you choose to add header fields, make sure they're appropriate for the image. Do not select "cache-control".

Image size is too large

To apply any of the above modifications to all products that have received this error, take the following steps: 

Step 1: See the affected products

  1. Sign in to your Merchant Center account.
  2. Select Products on the navigation menu, then click Diagnostics.
  3. Click the Item issues tab to see current issues affecting your products.

To download a list (.csv) of all affected items for all issues:

  • Click the download button Download next to the filter button Filter, beneath the graph and above the list of issues.

To download a list (.csv) of all affected items for a particular issue:

  • Find the issue under the “Issue” column, then click the download button Download at the end of the row.

To see a list of up to 50 products with this particular issue:

  • Find the issue under the “Issue” column, then click View samples in the “Affected items” column.

Step 2: Review and update image links

  1. Filter the downloaded report so that you only see products with:
    “Issue title” = Image not retrieved (crawl rate too slow) or Image not retrieved (crawl pending)
  2. Search your product data for those products (using the ID), and make sure each product is a high-quality image without overlays.
  3. Change the URL that you’ve submitted for the image_link attribute so that it points to the correct product image. Submitting a new URL rather than updating an existing URL with new content will force a faster fetch of the new image.

Step 3: Resubmit your product data

  1. After you’ve updated your product data, resubmit it using one of these methods:
  2. Next, check that you’ve fixed the issue by making sure it’s no longer listed on the Diagnostics page.

    Keep in mind: It may take some time for your change to be reflected on the Diagnostics page.

Related links

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?

Need more help?

Sign in for additional support options to quickly solve your issue